Squiz Today / 10 April 2024

Squiz Today – 10 April 2024

Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 11 minutes

13 / 22
12 / 18
14 / 27
10 / 21
15 / 29
11 / 17
24 / 34
2 / 19

Squiz Sayings

“We are not made to sit in a rocking chair and knit.”

Said 76yo Swiss lady Elisabeth Stern, a member of the KlimaSeniorinnen (Senior Women for Climate Protection) after winning the world’s first climate case in the European Court of Human Rights, which found Switzerland’s efforts to meet emissions targets were inadequate and that the women’s age and gender made them vulnerable to the effects of heatwaves.

Johnston’s ship comes in

The Squiz

Australia will soon have a new Chief of the Defence Force, with PM Anthony Albanese announcing that Vice-Admiral David Johnston will replace General Angus Campbell on 10 July. It’s a big deal for the Navy because it hasn’t had one of its own take up the role in 22 years. The appointment needs approval from fellow military man/(outgoing) Governor General David Hurley, but it will be waved through with Albanese saying that Johnston’s selection was an “easy decision”. Defence Minister Richard Marles called him a “safe pair of hands” while Johnston says he’s “very conscious of the responsibility that comes with the role”.

Who is he?

Johnston has had a long career with the Navy since joining in 1978. That includes serving on warships HMAS Adelaide and HMAS Newcastle and deployments, including to the Middle East to lead operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Chief role is the next rung on the ladder for Johnston – he’s been Vice Chief of the Defence Force since 2018. Others have also been promoted as part of the announcement, including 3 women – Michelle McGuinness, Natasha Fox and Susan Coyle – who become 3-star-rank officers. Marles called it a “very significant step forward” for the participation of women in senior leadership roles as “this time last year, there had never been a woman who had served at the level of a 3-star”.

What’s top of his agenda?

The big issue is AUKUS, aka the deal with the US and UK to acquire nuclear submarines as a deterrent to counter China’s growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region. Yesterday, it was confirmed that Japan is being considered as a new member of the security pact, as are some other countries like Canada – something China says it’s “gravely concerned” about. AUKUS has seen Oz commit tens of billions of dollars to acquire the new fleet so it’s a big project for Johnston to take on. There are also internal issues to tackle, including high rates of self-harm within the Defence Forces. The Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide found one serving or former member contacts emergency services every 4 hours for help. That Commission will provide a final report on 9 September, so Johnston has plenty to do…

If this has brought anything up for you, you can find a list of resources available here.

AusPol Australian News

Squiz the Rest

Counting down to a new offensive

Hamas has described the latest Israeli ceasefire proposal as “intransigent” – aka, it fails to meet their demands. But they say they’ll continue to review the offer… That might have something to do with Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s military setting a yet-to-be-shared start date for its offensive in the city of Rafah. Netanyahu says it’s necessary for “the elimination of the terrorist battalions there”. PM Anthony Albanese is among the world leaders urging against the ground invasion, given more than a million Palestinians are sheltering there. As that’s worked through, some Palestinians are returning to the city of Khan Younis – which has been decimated by the fighting. Back at home, Foreign Minister Penny Wong yesterday hinted the government is considering recognising Palestinian statehood to “build momentum towards a two-state solution”, saying it is “the only hope for peace.”

World News

Sticking with the plan

Alice Springs’ youth curfew has been extended for 6 days over the remainder of the territory’s school holidays after feedback from local residents – taking it up to 6am on Tuesday, 16 April. NT Chief Minister Eva Lawler says she has “anecdotal” evidence that it’s displaying “very encouraging results” – despite some local elders criticising it. To recap, it was put in place in response to a wave of violent crime after the death of a local teenager last month and has seen those under 18yo barred from the town’s CBD between 6pm-6am daily. Alongside that, Lawler says her government will also accept 15 of the 18 recommendations in a new NT police review but warned it would “come at significant cost”. “We will see unprecedented resources provided to the Northern Territory police force,” she said. 

AusPol Australian News

Putting your credit cards on ice

If you’ve held off on making a purchase in the past few months, you’re not the only one… The latest weekly data from ANZ-Roy Morgan shows Aussie consumer confidence has fallen to levels not seen since the 1990s recession. It fell 0.9 points this week to 81.9 – the 62nd consecutive week it’s been below the target mark of 85. ANZ economist Madeline Dunk pointed out that’s “23 weeks longer than during the 1990s recession”. The Westpac Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index was also out yesterday and showed a similar trend… Westpac Group economist Matthew Hassan reckons outside of the 90s, “this is easily the second most protracted period of deep consumer pessimism since we began surveying in the mid-1970s”. As for something on the way up, that would be Aussies’ expectations for more inflation – particularly the rising cost of petrol… 

Australian News Economy

Dropping like flies…

In case you needed another reminder, the Paris Olympics are kicking off on 26 July, and just a few short months out, the Matildas are dealing with injuries to more star players… We already knew that captain Sam Kerr (who ruptured her ACL in January) isn’t looking very likely to lace up her boots, but now, Katrina Gorry and Clare Hunt are also under question. Coach Tony Gustavsson yesterday said that both players will sit out this morning’s friendly match against Mexico as he tests out a new roster… But he reckons they’re taking the chance “to use the game against Mexico to learn about ourselves and where we are on this journey”. Captain Steph Catley channelled some similarly positive vibes, saying the team is feeling “comfortable and confident”. Let’s go, Aussies…

Australian News Sport

A swift elbow in the side

Spare a thought for members of Gen Z who are the latest young’uns to be scolded by their elders for bad table manners… A poll of 2,000 young people in the UK shows 60% of 12-27yos reckon traditional table manners – like having your elbows off the table and holding your knife and fork in a particular way – are kaput. More than a third also admitted they use their phone at the table… That’s prompted the 250yo etiquette coaching company Debrett’s to issue a stern warning to “sit up straight, don’t fidget and don’t put elbows on the table”. Etiquette advisor Liz Wyse says the main aim of polishing up your manners is “not to look greedy, voracious, or over-casual, which might be offensive to hosts”. You’ve been told, kids…


Apropos of Nothing – Rockers edition

The Bear could become The Boss with actor Jeremy Allen White in talks to play Bruce Springsteen in the new movie Deliver Me From Nowhere, about the making of his pivotal 1982 album Nebraska. White is so hot right now, Springsteen isn’t the only one on fire

Aussie legend John Farnham will give fans a rare insight into his notoriously private personal life as he’s written his first-ever memoir titled The Voice Inside. It’s not available until 30 October so in the meantime you’ll just have to listen to his outside voice

And speaking of outside voices, who better to give a shrill performance during a solar eclipse than the Prince of Darkness himself? Sadly Ozzy Osbourne wasn’t available this week, but fans have resurfaced his rendition of Bark at the Moon from the 2017 eclipse on X (aka Twitter)…

Quirky News

Squiz the Day

9.00am (AEST) – Unveiling of newest celebrity zone, Illuminate Sydney, at Madame Tussaud’s featuring 9 A-listers – Sydney

10.00am (AEST) – Soccer: Matildas v Mexico (pre-Olympics friendly) – San Antonio, Watch/10 Play

12.30pm (AEST) – Jeff Dimery, Managing Director and CEO of Alinta Energy, will address the National Press Club on some truths about Australia’s energy transition – Canberra 

ABS Data Release – Building Activity, December 23

SA Parliament sits – both Houses

South Korea general election

Hug Your Dog Day – or your farm animals because it’s also National Farm Animals Day

Anniversary of:

  • the first law regulating copyright being issued in Great Britain (1710)
  • the patenting of the safety pin (1849)
  • RMS Titanic setting sail from Southampton for her maiden – and only – voyage (1912)
  • the publication of F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925)
  • Paul McCartney shocking the world by confirming that The Beatles had split (1970)
Squiz the Day

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